Songwriters of North America

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Songwriters of Northern America
Songwriters of Northern America log with a stylized note up top in black and then the name of the org in yellow on red below
FoundersMichelle Lewis, Kay Hanley
Headquarters9000 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Songwriters of Northern America (SONA) is a not-for-profit trade organization for songwriters' rights.[1] It was founded by Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley in January 2015, in order to advocate for fair remuneration for songwriters in the era of streaming digital music services.[2] The organization allows songwriters to organize to lobby for better licensing rates for music creators with digital streaming companies like Spotify and Pandora.[2] In 2016 the band sued the Justice Department who they claim "overstepped its authority and that its ruling violated the property rights of songwriters by potentially nullifying private contracts between writers who have worked on the same song."[3] SONA also pressed for fair pay for songwriters within other music legislation including crafting, lobbying and working to pass the Music Modernization Act.[4]

In addition to advocacy, SONA hosts "Back To School" nights and public speakers in order to educate songwriters at all levels on the complicated and ever-changing digital music industry.[2] In 2020 the group, led by Michelle Lewis, Jess Furman and Sarah Robertson organized to offer emergency grants to songwriters facing economic hardship because of the COVID pandemic.[5][6] In addition, SONA successfully lobbied for independent contractors to be included in the CARES Act and continued to lobby for fair inclusion of mixed earners in relief aid.[7]


SONA is almost entirely run by volunteers with leadership coming from their Board of Directors, made up of songwriters and music industry professionals.[8]

Board of Directors[9][edit]


  1. ^ Maloney, Darby. "Hello, Spotify! Goodbye, songwriters?". The Frame. KPCC. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "History & Mission". Songwriters Of North America. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  3. ^ Sisario, Ben (2016-09-13). "Songwriters Sue Justice Department Over Licensing Rules". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  4. ^ Wang, Amy X. (2019-09-30). "Future 25: Kay Hanley and Michelle Lewis, Co-Directors of Songwriters of North America". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  5. ^ Eggertsen, Chris (2020-05-15). "SONA Launches Songwriter Pandemic Emergency Relief Fund: How to Apply". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  6. ^ "Songwriters, Self-Employed Music Workers Eligible Federal Relief". Variety. 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  7. ^ Aswad, Jem (2020-11-24). "Recording Academy, RIAA, Other Major Music Organizations Ask Congress for COVID-19 Aid". Variety. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  8. ^ "Volunteer". Songwriters Of North America. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  9. ^ "The Board". Songwriters Of North America. Retrieved 2021-03-01.

External links[edit]